Report: Police Inquiry Focuses on Alleged Attempt by Netanyahu to Solicit Bribes

According Channel 2, the suspicion is that the prime minister attempted to elicit a bribe himself – not via proxy.

A profile shot of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the 2016 Genesis Prize award-ceremony in Jerusalem, June 23, 2016. He is wearing a dark suit, white shirt and dark tie.
Amir Cohen, Reuters

The new fraud inquiry into Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu focuses on an attempt to solicit bribes, Channel 2 reported on Friday.

According to the report, the suspicion is that Netanyahu himself – not through his son or wife – attempted to solicit a bribe. The case in question is reportedly still within its statute of limitations. 

The report sheds light on a major case that is under investigation, as Haaretz reported on Friday. Part the probe, which touches on Netanyahu's employment of an adviser with funds from an NGO, has been blocked by a decision from Attorney General Avichai Mendelblit.

Netanyahu's office issued a statement in response, saying that  since his "victory in the last elections, and even before, persons hostile to the prime minister have been putting great effort in bringing about the downfall of the prime minister by making spurious allegations. These persons in the media and their agents are putting non-stop pressure on the police, the prosecution and the attorney general to initiate criminal proceedings against the prime minister. Their spurious allegations are complete lies and are being shown as utterly baseless. We say again: there’s nothing and there has never been anything [to investigate]."

So far, almost 20 witnesses have testified and probes were conducted in at least two countries in the preliminary inquiry into Netanyahu’s affairs. One significant case is still being looked at. If it leads to solid suspicions, the so-called police “examination,” which has been going on for several months, may turn into a criminal investigation against the prime minister. If not, the entire inquiry will be scrapped.